Stranded Pax Didn't Want To Part With Duty-Free Booze
What happens when you combine dense fog, a diverted United
Airlines jumbo jet with a full load of passengers, and duty-free
alcohol? If you guessed a situation that could be described as a
"near-riot," you'd be right, according to Australian media
The Queensland Courier-Mail reports the Boeing 747, with 234
passengers onboard, was diverted from Sydney to Brisbane due to
heavy fog at the destination airport.
Those passengers -- already weary from the 14-hour flight from
the US -- were then told they would have to remain on the parked
aircraft for another nine hours, while United searched for a flight
crew that could take the plane onwards to Sydney.
If the whole affair sounded disturbingly familiar, you'd be
right -- as such ordeals have become increasingly common onboard domestic
US flights over the past several months, often due to
similar weather delays.
Those situations were tense enough... now, add alcohol to the
mix. Seems that several passengers onboard the stranded United
Airlines flight didn't want to part with their duty-free alcohol if
they decided to disembark in Brisbane, and leave the airport to
stretch their legs a bit.
International guidelines would require those bottles to be
confiscated when they passed through security once again, due to
the ever-popular restrictions on liquids stored in carry-on
luggage, to continue the flight onwards to Sydney.
When informed they would either have to stay on the plane, or
give up their booze, "something akin to a riot occurred," an
airport worker told the Courier-Mail. "Those passengers simply did
not want to stay on board."
After several hours, airline workers arrived at a stopgap
solution: they collected the bottles of carry-on alcohol, labelled
them, and stored them in the plane's cargo hold, effectively
circumventing the rule.
The passengers were then allowed to get off the plane.